Yes, I've been known to chat online for hours at a time. Usually, this occurs on the weekend. But sometimes I play hooky from my career to chat with known and unknown people. I pick their brains, they attempt to pick mine. There are several chatting options (and more developed everyday). Now we can even chat on web cam. Though that is a bit much for me. I only used my web cam a couple of times before abandoning it for the written word.
The earliest chat option I ever used was 12 years or so ago when I chatted regularly in the AOL chat rooms. Then I stopped paying for AOL and that was the end of chat for a year. Later, I discovered planetout.com and then gay.com. Yeah, it was nice at the beginning. They had room monitors to boot out the "bad" people and you could actually have intelligent chat about romantic notions. Well, maybe not. Now a days, you have to be really careful there as they gave up monitors several years ago to save money and in fact started charging lots of money to get some services that used to be advertisement supported. And they still have ads. Too many nasty predator types hanging out there to go regularly.
Now a blog site can get any number of chat applications to embed in the page to provide a private chat option available to regular visitors. I've thought about doing it here. It would cut down on the need for having all the various messenger services now available. And although, I have accounts with them all, I rarely use them these days. Unless, of course, I'm in the mood to waste time chatting with known and unknown people...to pick their brains, etc.